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How Does Virtual Reality Work?

Simulated environment. Have you ever heard of it? Probably in science fiction books or stories, right?

Well, this was the story decades ago. Today, computing technologies have grown in leaps and bounds. Mimicking objects in real time is no longer a fad, and here, we open doors for the new-age technology of virtual reality.


What Is Virtual Reality?

man playing virtual game
Photo by Minh Pham on Unsplash

Virtual reality or VR, by definition, is a computerized interface that blends technology to mimic real-world objects beyond the definite screen of your device. In other words, it enhances and redesigns 2D objects to give them a virtual feel.

VR enables users to be part of the environment through the app or even better, interact with them. For instance, you can picture things virtually and further interact with them improving productivity. In case you ever had a chance to dive into the artificial world, you would idealize with us.

Talking about it further, virtual reality impresses four of the five senses comprised of touch, vision, smell, and hearing. Now, this is why all of this fiction has come to life. Currently, the industry lags only because of the unavailability of significant hardware and additional resources. However, sooner or later, things would add, and the world would witness a whole new era of virtual connectivity.


How Does Virtual Reality Work?

virtual lens
Photo by James Yarema on Unsplash

Have you ever tried to wear a VR headset and see what VR does? Let us help you get a better picture of how virtual reality works.

Virtual reality or VR headsets cut you off from the external environment. In turn, they give you the image of being in the virtual world. The prime concept of virtual reality is vision simulation. VR headsets are tailored to embed a vision of a 3D environment. As soon as you put on the headset, you would see a whole new virtual scenario through a screen that excludes you from the surrounding environment.

Between you and the screen, there are two autofocus lenses. These lenses are moved and adjusted based on the movement and positioning of your eye. A PC or mobile is connected to the headset, which sends a signal to the same and is responsible for the displayed image.

Now, this sounds pretty interesting. However, it is easier said than to be done. To create an exclusive 3D experience, one needs to be cautious about certain aspects and carefully blend the same.

To promote effective display, you need to have a minimum of 60 VR frames per second. This is layered on top of the refresh rate, at least 100° FOV. While 180° is ideal, 100° is the minimum value needed.

There’s a lot of technical stuff. Let’s get to each one by one.

What Is Frame per Second?

The frame rate is the rate at which an image gets processed by GPU in one second.


What Is Refresh Rate?

The screen refresh rate is the time gap between images as displayed on the screen.

Refresh Rate
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What Is Field of View?

Field of view (FOV) is the open observable area a person can see through his or her eyes or via an optical device.

Field Of View
Photo by Justinw on Youtube


Why Do They Matter?

The aspects stated above are standard and fixed and under any circumstances. If either of them deviates, it leads to latency. That is the time gap between you who moves and the response displayed on the screen. For an ideal system, the movement and display need to be prompt (less than 20ms), or to be precise, results should follow actions. On the contrary, there is a huge gap between response and actions.

Next, you need to adhere to the cybersickness issues. If there persists a difference between the VR frames per second and the refresh rate, then the image gets distorted. To avoid this issue, you need to restrict the frame rate to refresh rate using Virtual Sync.


Elements of Virtual Reality

To further explain how virtual reality works, it is not just about image perception. It also embeds sound and movement.

To make the most of the technology, scientists add voice to the image. Surfacing the vision on top of voice gives the user an incredible virtual experience. When integrating sound to an image, it is important to draft sync between graphics and sound with added consistency. Moreover, it should justify the view to promote greater user engagement.

Next is user movement. You have the image placed right and sound justifying the vision, but how about your movement? Scientists have spent considerable money on hardware to track head and eye movement. Led lights, laser pointers, and sensors have been used to identify and detect the 3D motion and likewise showcase results.


Virtual Reality Tools

Virtually Reality Tools
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The unstoppable growth of the virtual reality industry is sufficient enough to entice developers to try their hands on the technology and likewise build apps.

Owing to an array of advancements, today, building a VR app does not mandate starting from scratch. Instead, you can use VR tools to layer your idea and rise in the industry. Some of the tools include:


Unity 3D

One of the leading game engine development tools, Unity 3D has a huge asset store that helps users build virtual reality games.



A tool for embedding 3D graphics and animated characters, Blender extends its functionality to animation, video editing, motion tracking, etc.


Amazon Lumberyard

An excellent tool to build 3D games based on the technology of virtual reality is Amazon Lumberyard. It boasts layers of exceptional games and stores them on the AWS cloud.


Other Options

Apart from these, current VR tools include Oculus Medium 2.0, AppGameKit, and CryEngine. These are also gaming tools supporting VR technology.


Implementation of Virtual Reality in Different Industries

Have you played Pokémon Go? It’s the VR game that made common humans of the world pay attention to virtual reality’s emergence in the gaming industry. Well, VR is more capable than just that.

Technology has so much to offer to all industries worldwide. In addition to this, every business is pacing towards the integration of virtual reality in their business operations. So, let’s see how industries have applied technology in their business plans.


Automobile Industry

VR in the automobile industry is seen to have free usage. From real-time driving to pre-testing components and devices virtually, virtual reality has altered the automobile industry.



Virtual reality connects teachers with students on a whole new level of engagement. Furthermore, virtual classes improve the education imparted to students as compared to the pre-recorded video tutorials.


Retail Sector

The retail industry has witnessed a major shift after the advent of virtual reality. Today, users can have a real-time view of the store from the comfort of their homes. A 3D view of the entire store helps users track products, thus improving the process of purchasing goods.



One of the major applications of virtual reality in healthcare is creating a virtual environment to treat PTSD patients. This creates a virtual scene where patients are exposed to threatening situations. The more they resist, the faster the cure. Such a mechanism gives patients control over a situation and fights their fear, in a way they deem perfect.

Implementation of Virtual Reality on Business
Photo by Bernard Marr on Forbes


Overview of 3D Glasses: What Are VR Goggles?

There is an array of virtual reality tools plying in the market today. However, one of the most important and popular applications of virtual reality is VR goggles. Virtual reality glasses are of immense usage and benefits to the virtual industry, given the fact that they are extremely lightweight and easy to wear. Though the functioning of 3D glasses is the same as that of head-mounted 3D glasses, industrialists today prefer 3D goggles over head-mounted headsets. Wearing 3D goggles gives the user an illusion of being part of the virtual world.

Consider, you are using a VR app for an architectural purpose. The app would give you a real-time rundown of the buildings and view the same at different angles. A few of these VR goggles have an inbuilt tracking system that adjusts the movement of the user to display corresponding images. They connected this system to a computing device that meets the expectations of the user. Moreover, it gives you an in-depth perception of the displayed image. Here again, sync has to be maintained so to avoid breaks or latency gaps.


Future Implementation of Virtual Reality

The future of virtual reality is far more enticing. With tremendous efforts laid by the tech giants such as Oculus, HTC, Google, and Microsoft, the true picture of virtual reality is yet to hit the world. Sooner, we’ll see an organization using VR technology to generate marketing content and revolutionize the entire digital industry.

If you’re on the lookout for the progress of virtual reality in gaming, check out these VR games you can already enjoy today!

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